Anorexia, also know as anorexia nervosa, is a mental health disorder
that is also one of severe forms of eating disorders that primarily affects women.
Anorexia Nervosa Defined
Anorexia is a complex condition that involves more than dieting, as it deals more with underlying emotional issues like control and self-image. The person suffering from anorexia often begins a vicious cycle of excessive dieting, abusing diet pills and diuretics or laxatives and starving oneself to the point where it becomes an addiction.
Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa
One of the first noticeable symptoms of anorexia is that the person becomes noticeably underweight, which then leads to depression and episodes of isolation from friends and family. As a result of starvation and other factors, the person suffering from anorexia suffers from a lack of sleep, which affects attention and concentration in the individual. The anorexic person becomes obsessive over food to the point of hoarding food and hiding it from others. Physically, they also experience a slower heart rate because of the starvation, as well as irregular heartbeat, which is associated with severe weight loss. Additionally, constipation and abdominal pain are common symptoms associated with anorexia.
Diagnosing Anorexia Nervosa
As individuals with anorexia typically hide their behavior and feelings from family and friends, diagnosing the condition is exceedingly difficult. In most cases, the diagnosis is made after medical conditions force the person to seek the help of a physician, who then may notice the warning signs and prescribe a regimen.
Causes Of Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia has no definite cause, but there is research done today that seeks to discover the possible causes of this condition. Researchers have identified genes which have shown that anorexia has a genetic component that makes some more likely to suffer from the condition than others. Other studies have located a dysfunction in the brain that seems to trigger the development of anorexia in some individuals. Furthermore, chemical imbalances in the brain may be a contributing factor in anorexia.
Risk Factors Of Anorexia Nervosa
There are certain factors that make people more at risk for developing anorexia. Being young and female substantially raises the likelihood of occurrence. Genetics also play a role, as well as those that go through significant weight changes. Going through a transitional period in life can trigger anorexia, as well as sports and other recreational activities, as people suffering from anorexia may take their fitness levels to the extreme. Finally, it has been noted that media and society play a significant role in how people see themselves and how body image on screen and print is often unreal or unattainable for the average person.
Treatment For Anorexia Nervosa
Depending on the stage of the condition, anorexia may be treated on an outpatient basis or in more intense cases, hospitalization and rehabilitation
may be necessary. Outpatient therapy typically involves counseling, weight management, and courses to teach the person suffering from anorexia how to deal with the correlating issues associated with the condition. Those that must be hospitalized usually have exhibited more extreme cases of the disease such as weakened organs, malnutrition, and brittle bones. The overall treatment for anorexia, however, is weight gain to ensure adequate health.
Medications And Treatment For Anorexia Nervosa
Studies have shown that early diagnosis and treatment are the most crucial steps in battling the effects of anorexia. For the anorexia patient that suffers from depression or anxiety, physicians sometimes prescribe Prozac. Anorexia is disease that requires daily monitoring, and many patients must confront anorexia for years at a time, and possibly for their entire lives.
Prevention Of Anorexia Nervosa
As there is no known way to prevent anorexia, early detection and then treatment are the most effective ways to stop the disorder from progressing. Pinpointing the signs early can be the matter between life and death for some sufferers of anorexia. To seek the services of an expert that deals with anorexia, search through our database today.